What’s better than a plate of katsu on a cold day? How about pork that’s coated in panko breadcrumbs made that day? The decisive answer of “Yes, yes, yes” is on crunchy offer at Kazone, a brand-new restaurant in the Old Centreville Crossing shopping plaza, also home to the city’s bustling H Mart grocery store. The small, already-busy eatery is in the space previously occupied by Las 3 Regiones Peruvian restaurant.
The Korean-run establishment is dead serious about its breaded-and-fried specialties. The menu has multiple reminders of the panko’s freshness, including a warning that the fresh crumbs fry up darker than other panko and that pork is rested after frying for optimal tenderness and juiciness.
I considered ordering one of my very favorite dishes on the planet, katsu kare, or katsu with Japanese curry, but my server recommended the cheese katsu, a dish I’ve only had once or twice before elsewhere. Other options include a katsu sando, as well as breaded shrimp, chicken, or cod.
The fresh panko is more different from the boxed stuff than I expected. Besides their telltale chocolaty hue, the crumbs’ smooth texture makes them feel more like a melting unit with the pork than a spiky armor. Rather than a chunky chop, the cheese katsu is something like a trio of fat mozzarella sticks, with the stretchy, chewy cheese wrapped in peppery pork. I was initially disappointed not to have more meat, but found myself quickly dispatching of the bisected, parsley-dusted slices, dipping them into a combination of spicy and standard sweet Bulldog sauce. For a bit of heat, I dusted my sides of rice and shredded cabbage with the shichimi togarashi, a citrusy pepper powder that was waiting on the table.
Some people spend the winter slurping soup. I’ll be filling mine with freshly ground breadcrumbs.
13840 Braddock Rd, Ste. D, Centreville
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